7 Things to Do When You’re Snowed In!

I was bamboozled by all of this hype of this historical blizzard we were supposed to get. I was actually a little nervous about the 18-24 inches that they were calling for, but here in Brick, NJ we probably got like 8 inches or so. But being snowed in can be so fun!

Here’s a glimpse into a few things that Sam and I did during our snow day!

1. Have some delicious coffee/tea/hot chocolate


Sam is a coffee drinker and I’ve never really liked the stuff. I’m definitely a tea kinda gal, but usually I don’t drink any caffeine in the morning which would explain why I’m so tired and/or lazy ALL THE TIME! Have some nice conversations and relax because you’re not going anywhere!

2. Work on a project that you’ve been neglecting! 


I’ve been working on this gigantic, ugly crochet blanket for like 4 months now and I think I’m on my last roll of yarn that I’ll need to complete it and I’m super excited. It’s just been taking up space on my couch and I really need to just get done with it already!

3. Read a book/Catch up on your magazine subscriptions/Journal your snowed in experience!


I’m in the process of rereading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the 30th time probably and also I just started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which is sincerely blowing my mind and I plan on writing a review on it as soon as I’m done! Also, I journaled about my all-time favorite snow day today. It included me and Sam sneaking out of a bedroom window to play in the snow!

4. Make a snow day playlist!


Or listen to one that Spotify has already created for you here! I decided to dig out my old, dinosaur of an iPod. I put it on shuffle and let it do it’s thang!

5. Have a drink… or two!


Crack open a couple beers or uncork that bottle of wine and chill out! Today is your day to unwind a little bit and chill out, so do it!

6. FaceTime with friends that are also snowed in.


We FaceTimed with family in Boston who are also snowed in. They were making some delicious looking food while we chatted and I felt like I was in an episode of Barefoot Contessa! (As a sidetone, if you want to mix a little bit of #5 and #6 on this list, go ahead!)

7. And when all else fails – GO PLAY IN THE SNOW!

I don’t have any pictures for this one but last night I put on a couple layers, wrapped my Uggs with grocery bags and spent a few minutes on my balcony and that was enough for me. It was actually beautiful and it made me feel so alive! Standing out in the quiet, thick winter air makes you realize how grateful you are for a lot of different things (the winter air also smells cleaner and fresher, am I right?).

I was snapping pics all day today and last night too! By the end of today I noticed that Sam was walking around the apartment making fun of me!


I don’t blame him. I’m sure it was super annoying telling him to freeze so I can try and capture the moment – LOL!

Anyways, I hope that everyone had a great day and that you’re all safe!

Happy At-Least-It’s-Not-Monday Day!


Blue Apron Review + Special Discount!


It’s no secret that I’m a below average cook. I’m not sure why either! I come from a family of amazing women that can cook their asses off. I even married into a family of women that can cook really well so I’m not sure where I went wrong. You’re probably thinking, “why do you care if you can cook or not? You have awesome cooks in your family, just let them do all the cooking.” Well, the truth is that I do care and I don’t know why. I’m a pretty creative person outside of the kitchen and I just figured that if I learned a thing or two or tried new things maybe something will click and I’ll turn into this Julia Child’esque chef and never depend on anyone else to make me a delicious meal!

So, with all of that being said, I signed up for Blue Ribbon Apron. I’m not sure why I want to keep calling it Blue Ribbon, but I do. Anyways, it’s called Blue Apron and if you don’t know what it is you can check out their website here. But to make a long story short, they ship you everything you need to make a great meal. They have two different plans. One plan is for two people meals and the other is for four people meals. The cool thing about it also, is that you can skip weeks if you’d like. I don’t want them mailing me stuff every single week so I skip every other week. We get three meals a week, twice a month. Sam and I eat really boring things. I only know how to make a handful of things so as long as Blue Apron doesn’t send us sloppy joes, Old El Paso tacos, chicken pot pie, or DiGiornos pizza, then I’m fairly confident that we’ll be making things that we’ve never tried before. I always see recipes online that I’d like to try but then get discouraged when I see things like sage, turnips, gochujang, gai lan, etc. I don’t even know what those ingredients look like, let alone where the hell I’d find them if I wanted to attempt to make these crazy dinners. So Blue Apron sends you all of that stuff and I don’t have to go to the grocery store and make an ass out of myself looking for them!

My first Blue Apron delivery came this week and this is what I got:

Korean-Style Tteok – w/ spicy pork “ragu” & gai lan


Chicken Charlemagne – w/ roasted root vegetables & parsnip-potato mash


Banana Leaf-Steamed Cod – w/ spiced rice, yu choy & coconut


They suggest that if you receive any kind of fish in your package that you make that first, as it’s the first that will go bad if you keep it for awhile, so we made it on Tuesday. It was actually really good, really easy to make, and definitely something I would have never made if it weren’t for Blue Apron being so convenient. I’m not even much of a fish person and I liked it a lot. Last night I made the chicken charlemagne and I was quite impressed with myself because I’m usually awful at making chicken but it came out really tasty! And the potatoes AND parsnip mashed potatoes? Like, WHAT? Does everyone know about this? PARSNIP in the MASHED POTATOES? Because it was amazing and quite frankly blew my mind.

 So, let’s break it all down. Sam and I have a grocery/food budget of about $300-$350 a month. That includes all of our take-out money and going out to eat money. We only go out to eat or order take out when we want something that neither of us can cook so Blue Apron sends us stuff that we don’t know how to make and teaches us how to make it for only $120/month. Which I think is a fantastic deal and based on the dishes that I’ve made, I’d definitely say it’s worth it so if you were on the fence about giving Blue Apron a shot, my recommendation would be to GO FOR IT!

My first 50 readers get two free meals with their first Blue Apron Box – redeem here.

Happy Thursday/Almost Friday Day!

Travel Fund

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that Sam and I went to Boston for the weekend to visit some family. We had so much fun, even though it felt like it was below zero outside! But we survived and ended up eating and drinking our way through Boston.

Yes, that is our mess. We are pigs!

Yes, that is our mess. We are pigs!

I haven’t shared it on my blog yet, but my father passed away in early November of last year. He was pretty young and I think about him constantly! Anytime Sam and I are planning on going somewhere or doing something I think to myself, “Hmm, I wonder if my dad ever had the chance to do this, or go to this place.” Not sure if that is normal or not but whatever. I made my new years resolution to experience more things and go to more places.

On our 4 hour drive up to Boston, Sam and I decided that every year we want to travel to at least 2-3 places we’ve never been before. Doesn’t have to be to some extravagant place and doesn’t even have to be super far from where we live. Maybe just for a weekend trip or a few days longer, but just somewhere that neither of us have been before. I’m pretty excited to start coming up with ideas of places to go, but thinking about how much money it’s going to take makes me a little nervous. We save a lot of money each month and some of the money we save goes into our “travel fund” so that should help cover our trips throughout the year but I’ve also started doing the 52 week money challenge in order to save money that we can use as spending cash while we’re on one of our adventures. I don’t think people understand how easy it is to save with that damn challenge. I love it!


Where have you traveled to? Your favorite vacation destination? Favorite weekend getaway location? Give me ideas!

Happy hump day!

Three of My Most Popular Budgeting & Savings Posts!

On Thursday I finally reached 100,000 views on my blog! I was kinda freaking out a little bit! Feels pretty crazy knowing that over 100,000 people have come to my blog at some point for some reason. So thank you to everyone for checking it out!

Anyways, in the past three weeks my views have spiked because at the beginning of every year everyone wants to get their budget in order, along with other things like lose weight, adopt a healthier lifestyle, out with the old and in with the new, and all that good stuff. A few of my budgeting and savings posts from 2013 and 2014 were getting a lot of attention because they’re super easy to use so I thought I’d link you to them in one post so that you can easily find them.

1. Monthly Budget Spreadsheet! – Before you can determine how much money you can and should be saving a month you need to figure out your monthly budget! I promise it’s not as painful as it sounds and doesn’t take too long to put it all together. But honestly, it’s a necessity!


2. Yearly Budget Spreadsheet! – Once you get your monthly budget together the yearly budget spreadsheet is just a place to keep you on track all throughout the year. It’s also fun to see how much money you’ve saved at the end of the year!


3. The Revised 52 Week Money Challenge! – It’s not your average 52 week money challenge. Believe it or not it’s actually a little more challenging. See which of the three challenges tickles your fancy!


All of the links to download the spreadsheets and the 52 week challenges are in each of the posts. I hope they help you and happy saving!


New Years Project!

I’ve been waiting for the perfect table to come along that I can paint and refinish and I FOUND ITTTTT!


This is the picture from the craigslist ad and as soon as I saw it and noticed that they were selling for $50, I had to pick it up quickly! The guy that was selling it took the legs off and helped get it in my car because it’s a pretty heavy piece of furniture, so thanks to him!



As soon as I got home I laid down my plastic and took off all the hardware and just sanded all of the pieces a little bit but knew that I was going to use a primer so I didn’t go crazy.

I was thinking about leaving it white but felt like it would look way too fancy and the room that I wanted to put it in desperately needed a pop of color so I chose to paint it Hawaiian Teal!


I also left the bottom of all the legs unpainted which I’m currently loving the look of! I took off the hideous, gigantic knobs that were on the cabinet and exchanged them for some glass hardware and they look perfect!


I also distressed the whole thing and I love it! I really wanted a cabinet just like this but was not willing to pay like $300+ for it. Luckily, at the end of the day this whole table cost less than $100!



Happy New Year, everyone!

Creating a Home Office/Guest Room!

Well, hello there!

This past weekend I was in Pittsburgh for my little sister’s senior homecoming :(

I can't believe how big she is now!

I can’t believe how big she is now!

Anyways, my mom works from home 95% of the time and every time I come home I have to be quiet during the day and keep the TV turned down because she uses the dining room as her office. I couldn’t stand how inconvenient it was, not only for her, but for me as well. I knew that she was going out of town the first week of November and I was planning on sneaking into town and turning my sister’s old room into a home office/guest bedroom for her. I got to thinking about it and wasn’t sure if she’d actually utilize it or not, so I figured I would ask first – haha.

This is how the conversation went:

MeMom, do you think if I painted Nicole’s old room and turned it into a home office you’d use it?

Mom – *eyes open really wide**chin drops to chest* Are you kidding? Of course I would! Do you wanna do it this weekend?

MeWell I don’t know about this weekend. I might be a little busy getting Nicole ready and doing her make up and stuff.

MomOh, painting won’t take that long, you could probably get it all done this weekend!

MeOk, I’ve never painted a room before but I’m sure it’s no big deal. Let’s do it!

And the rest is history! My mom gave me a $500 budget. I went to Lowes and spent $70 and got some white paint and some supplies and had to paint over dark blue walls that had purple stars painted around the window and the closet! (I really wish I would have taken a before picture! The room was horrendous!) I thought painting would be fun but it turned into the worst day of my life (ok, I’m being dramatic, but holy shit!). So after two days, three coats of paint, and plenty of cursing, I finished the paint job! It was rewarding to basically do most of it myself, with little help from my sister Rachel and absolutely no help from my youngest sister Nicole. I knew after I painted the room, the fun part would begin!

So on Sunday morning I went to Ikea and got a desk, a desk chair, a bookcase along with some drawers for the bookcase, a lamp, and a cart with wheels! In all, I spent $280 at Ikea. When I got home my sisters and I put everything together which was actually kinda fun. Once we set everything up where we thought it should go we knew it was missing some stuff, so we made a trip to Walmart. At Walmart we got new curtains, new comforter, some throw pillows, a dry erase board, small cork board, and some decorations for the walls. At Walmart we spent about $108.

The next day I went to Target because I felt we were still missing some cool knick knacks and a desk lamp. Little did I know, I was about to have the greatest Target trip of my life!


The cute blue stool thing had a clearance tag on it that said $24.98. The laser cut metal mirror had a clearance tag for $14.98. The small trash can was on sale for $12.78. And the Threshold white lamp had a clearance tag of $17 something. I get up to the register and the girl informs me that everything on clearance was even lower than the tag price. I THOUGHT MY FREAKING HEAD WAS GOING TO EXPLODE! I told her I might need to call my mom and have her pick me up because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to drive home – HAHA! My total for all of the things above was originally $50 and some change but with a mobile coupon for $5 off home purchases, I paid $45. Felt pretty good!

So, if you’ve been keeping track of the totals from all my purchases, you’d see I only came in $3 over the budget for this room! Pretty spectacular if you ask me!

The end result was pretty awesome for one weekend of hard work! So without further ado, here’s the new home office!






My mom loved it and I couldn’t be happier because she deserves it and so much more! I heard her the next day talking to people on the phone and telling them how she was working in her new home office that her daughters put together for her and how it was the nicest thing anyone has done for her in a long time. It feels great to make someone’s day!

It’s almost Hump Day! Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Financial Tip Friday – Saving -vs- Investing


Deciding what to do with your savings can be very difficult. You try to split it up between emergency funds, rainy day funds, retirement funds, college funds, etc. Knowing what funds to put into savings and what need to be investing is simple!

Money that you need to spend in the next few years, lets say 1-5 years, belongs in savings. This includes a down payment for a house, emergency funds, vacation funds, basically anything that you may need to get your hands on quickly. Put it in a low risk savings account or money market account. Try to find a savings account that has a decent APY. As of right now, I use Capital One 360 for all of my savings and the APY is, ugh, just ok. Shop around before opening up any account!

Money that you don’t need for at least seven years is money that should be invested. We’re talking about things like retirement funds and college tuition funds for young children. I am no professional financial advisor and for these kinds of funds, I couldn’t tell you where to invest all your cash, but do it wisely and if you need to dish out some money to talk to someone that’s knowledgeable in investing these things, do it! Totally worth it!

I hope this helps! Have a great weekend!

Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party!

While growing up I spent the majority of my summer months with my grandma. I was a little too old for day care and both my parents worked full time so I was kinda happy to spend my summer nights in Chalfant, PA sleeping over my grandma’s house. She’d stay up late, she had a computer, she had “card night” and all the women from the neighborhood would come over and curse and smoke up the whole house, and she’d bake and cook delicious meals, so it was really no problem!

Just a week ago, on July 12th, we celebrated her 90th birthday and it was an honor to be able to help put the decorations and stuff together. We had an awesome photo booth in awful lighting, amazing catered food, and a slideshow.

The night before the party my incredible Aunt Maureen put together a lunch/dinner for all of the out-of-town guests that were arriving the day before the party.

I was able to see my grandma and my Aunt Patty


I was also able to see my Aunt Edith


And I was able to see my cousin Sandy and Pam that I haven’t seen for almost 6 years since I’ve lived in LA,  but I wasn’t able to get a picture of them on Friday night.

The invitations went out via SNAPFISH! and I really loved using this old black and white photo of my grandma. It looked really timeless and beautiful.


We wanted to do a 1920’s themed photo booth with head pieces, pearl necklaces, cigarette holders, and the guys had gangster hats! It would have turned out GREAT if I hadn’t forgotten my light umbrellas! Here’s a few shots of my family and my gram’s friends from the photo booth:









Some of the photo booth attendees haven’t seen me since I was “this big”… and you know what I mean!

I was in charge of the decorations. We had gotten some ideas from the catering company that had done some events before us at the same venue. They made balloon chandeliers, so we made balloon chandeliers and besides the fact that we lost a few balloons before the party even started, they still turned out really pretty.


We also got 10 flower vases from my local thrift store in Brick, NJ, at Destiny’s Thrift Shop, for $10!


We hot glued each vase with a layer of burlap and then a layer of lace over top of the burlap. We didn’t want the centerpieces to be too formal which is why we used mini roses and mini tulips. We didn’t want giant roses and tulips to overtake the centerpieces.

We also put a tin can on each of the tables with a tag that said, “90 Reasons We Love Annette! Share a story or a memory that you have with her!” I wasn’t able to get a picture of the cans on each table at the party so I took a picture when I got home. We got about 20 or so responses and they each made me cry!



During the party my Uncle Dick told a story about growing up with my grandma:



My Aunt Maureen was able to read a few of the cards that people had left in the “90 Reasons We Love Annette” tins. So hilarious!


My grandma blew the candles out!




The cake mimicked the invitations which was pretty cool. My grandma had a really awesome time which was a lot of fun to see!


My grandma and her two younger sisters.

My grandma and her two younger sisters.




The party was definitely a success. The food was delicious and if you’re looking for an amazing catering company in the Pittsburgh area, please contact 2 Ladies & a Gentleman! The slideshow was a hit,  and my gram was able to walk around and socialize with the guests at each table.

I had such a great time at the party and I’m glad that everyone who came enjoyed themselves as well! Hope you guys liked the pictures!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

So much happenin’!

Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve abandoned the blog for months and months but I do have a good excuse!

Sam and I went to Disney World for the first time in May and had a blast! I’ve also been trying to really work on my photography and have had some really awesome photo sessions these past couple months.


Now, vacation is over and summer is here and I have a new project that I’m super psyched about. I get to help decorate and plan my grandma’s 90th birthday party! It’s been pretty exciting and we’ve decided to do a 1920’s themed photo booth! I love my photo booths, as you know from my sister’s country themed graduation party. I’m also helping with centerpieces and what not so I’ll definitely be sharing those with you guys as I work on them.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Repurposing Household Items!

Do you know what I hate? When my Bath & Body Works candles are running out of wax. I’ve burned through them and the pretty jar is now basically empty and coming closer and closer to becoming garbage.


Do you know what I love? The jars that the Bath & Body Works candles come in. I love the symmetry and plainness of the jars. They’re so cute! So, I’ve repurposed the jar from candle to cotton ball holder! This is how:

Boil some water



Once the water is boiling, pour it directly into the jar. Sometimes people are afraid that this will shatter the jar but from personal experience, I can tell you that this jar is very sturdy and can definitely withstand boiling water. Once you pour in the boiling water you’ll notice that the water and the candle wax begin to separate.


After about a minute or two take a butter knife and go around the edge of the wax and also around each of the wicks. The wax should be soft enough and this shouldn’t be difficult. If the wax is still tough, give the hot water a few additional minutes to soften the wax.


Once you’ve traced the outline of the wax inside the jar you should be able to pry the wax from the bottom of the jar. If not in one big piece then in a couple of big pieces.


Once the majority of the wax is out you can most likely pry the wicks and the wick stands out very easily. Remove them and allow the remaining wax to rise to the top of the jar.



Once it’s done separating just pour it out. I usually like to let the wax on top harden and throw that away before pouring out the water below it. The sticker on the side of the jar is easy to pull off. As for the sticker on the bottom, it may need a little extra soaking in order to come off. Once all the stickers are off run a soapy sponge over it and let it dry and then it’s ready! You’ve got a really cute jar to do with as you please!



Love these small projects that increase my bathroom storage, especially since I’ve got very minimal storage in my apartment.


Happy Tuesday, everyone!